Previously denied student allowed enrollment - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Previously denied student allowed enrollment

Posted: Updated:
In a letter sent to Superintendent Jim Cunningham, the SPLC described how 17-year-old J.T. was denied enrollment at Fort Payne High School without any legal justification in January. (Source: MGN) In a letter sent to Superintendent Jim Cunningham, the SPLC described how 17-year-old J.T. was denied enrollment at Fort Payne High School without any legal justification in January. (Source: MGN)
FORT PAYNE, AL (WAFF) -

The Fort Payne City School District enrolled a Latino student who missed almost a semester of school. He was turned away from school twice. The district also took steps to ensure fair enrollment practices for all students, as announced by the Southern Poverty Law Center Thursday.

In a letter sent to Superintendent Jim Cunningham, the SPLC described how 17-year-old J.T. was denied enrollment at Fort Payne High School without any legal justification in January. The district took immediate action to address the concerns outlined in the letter, including enrolling J.T. in school the following day.

"J.T. just wanted to go to school, and now he gets to do exactly that," said Caren Short, the SPLC staff attorney. "We are thrilled with the results and appreciate the district's prompt action."

J.T. began attending classes April 10. "It feels great because I know I will be able to become what I want to be in life," said J.T. "I feel normal, too."

To ensure that no student is discriminated against on the basis of national origin, the Fort Payne City School District also revised its enrollment form to make it clear that failing to provide a Social Security number would not deny enrollment.

The district also removed from its website a memo that detailed a provision of the state's anti-immigrant law that required students provide a birth certificate to complete enrollment. That provision was previously blocked by courts.

Copyright 2014 WAFF. All rights reserved. 

Powered by WorldNow

1414 North Memorial Parkway
Huntsville, AL 35801
256-533-4848

WAFF Is a Proud Member
of the Raycom Family of Stations


FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WAFF. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.